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What if your prior DUI or OUI or OWI is from another state? Can they enhance your current New York DWI to a felony DWI based on that prior DUI?
The Key to New York DWI Felony Enhancement is Substantial SimilarityLet's start off with understanding that in New York State any DWI, ADWI (aggravated DWI), DWAI drugs or even DWAI drug plus alcohol combo charged as a misdemeanor can be enhanced to a felony if there is A NYS prior (conviction) within 10 years of this arrest date:
The DWI be charged as a felony, pursuant to an allegation of a prior conviction of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 (1), (2), (3) or (4) within the preceding 10 years per Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1193 (1) (c)
If YOU have any prior Out-Of- State DUI, OUI, DWI, ADWI (aggravated DWI), DWAI drugs or even DWAI drug plus alcohol combo then it can enhance your current NYS DWI to a felony if the prior (conviction) was within 10 years AND it is substantially similar to the NYS DWI statute (law). Many states laws are similar, like PA, MA, CT, and NJ.
This is because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution:
Full Faith & Credit—Enhancing New York DWI with Out-of-State ConvictionsWe need to always compare the out of state DUI as if that behavior had occurred in NYS would it be a misdemeanor or felony level offense in NYS as well.
Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution provides that: “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state.” Therefore, a DWI conviction from one state must be recognized in another state.
NOTE: If the prior first was in PA but you received ARD in PA then that generally cannot be used for enhancement to a felony in NYS because it is likely expunged from your record as a conviction for enhancement purposes.